Who do I work with?
I work with individual adults in California via teletherapy.
Would I be able to help you?
I have supported people like you with issues such as:
- grief and loss, including significant deaths, heartbreak, pet loss
- major life transitions, such as navigating the decision to divorce, pregnancy (both planned and unplanned), leaving or going back to school
- grappling with the big questions
- low mood, low energy, irritability, inability to feel joy, a sense of deadness
- political anxiety, economic uncertainty, systemic inequality, the haunting of global warming
- sudden threat from the pandemic, wildfires, blackouts
- relationship insecurity
- co-dependent tendencies
Those issues are common to many, many people. I have some niche interests as well, to serve in a more specialized way, where I have sought out specific training and education. These include: Working with DID, plurals or systems, and dissociation; gender identity and individuals who are trans; open relationships, poly, BDSM/kink, and non-heteronormative lifestyles. These niche areas are not related to each other, however I’m listing them out here in case any of these matter to you.
What might we focus on together?
I get it. You just want to feel better.
Experiences of anxiety and depression are incredibly common in our modern world. I would be surprised if you haven’t suffered from these problems. We will look at your symptoms — maybe it’s sleeplessness, or oversleeping; maybe you can’t get motivated to do anything because of how crappy you feel; maybe you are really sensitive and you feel like you overreact; maybe your relationships are suffering.
Here’s some ideas of what our work will look like:
- Identifying root-cause issues
- Untangling emotions and looking at why it REALLY bothers you
- Allowing the emotions to be here without taking us over or running away from them, suppressing them, or using self-harmful behaviors to try and escape them
- Building an ability to tolerate frustration (this can be really difficult for those who have experienced severe traumas)
- Centering ourselves in our own experience and separating from other people in a healthy way
- Getting better at responding instead of reacting
- Practicing communicating together so that the conversations that feel so risky have a better chance of success
- Finding meaning after suffering
- Discovering the patterns and realizing how things can be different
What is my philosophy?
I am very interested in identity.
What does that mean?
It means that you are an individual made up of many roles and affiliations based on aspects of who you are, including relationships in your family, the way you experience your gender and how fixed or fluid it is, who you are attracted to, your health status and the spectrum of ability you currently access, your size and how your body takes up space, how attractive the world has decided you are, the financial resources you have available, and the color of your skin and labels of race, the lived experience of your ethnicity and traditions, whether you believe in one God or multiple forms of divinity or none at all, your family’s heritage, your status as an immigrant in terms of how recent or far in the past your family came to the United States, and many more. These aspects may determine whether you feel like you belong, and the times you feel like an outsider.
Everyone experiences life differently based on the groups they feel part of. Identity cannot be categorized into tidy little buckets, so I apologize for the oversimplification, however to offer a sense of my current range: I have had clients who identify as male and female, both cis and trans; as lesbian, bi, queer, and questioning. I have worked with individuals from 17 years old to 70. Married, divorced, widowed. Single by choice. Exploring. Child-free. Co-parenting. Religious. Atheist. Most of my clients so far have been white. If you are a person of color, I would be sensitive to the dynamics of the cross-racial counseling relationship and invite a discussion of what that would be like for you.
What is my style or approach?
My clinical orientation is called psychodynamic, which for me, means that I care a lot about emotions, and tend to use them as a point of inquiry, as a way to understand what’s going on inside. That being said, there are other avenues to explore, too. That’s because many of us are blocked to emotions, especially those with strong masculine qualities. We may investigate the cycles and patterns you’ve been experiencing, or how you “show up” to others, how you impact them and how they influence you.
By its very nature, psychodynamic psychotherapy is depth work. It usually takes time to build trust and safety together, for these larger themes to surface. For most of us, it took many years for these patterns to become entrenched, through the experiences of trauma and disconnection we’ve suffered in the past. It may take some time to un-do them through new ways of thinking, believing, and being. We will look for opportunities to increase your strengths and build your supports, so you can find ways to feel better as soon as is possible. This is the type of work that benefits from meeting regularly, usually once every week (sometimes more often), where change is tracked over time. We will do that together through open discussion of what you want to work on and how.
I might summarize all of this as work that develops new and improved skills for coping with life, that allows a greater sense of self-integration where wholeness and vitality can be experienced, along with the inevitable challenges.
Do you want to find out what might be possible together?
If you’re currently feeling like it might help to talk to someone, to look at what’s really going on in your life, please reach out and we’ll see if this might be a place to begin.
If you’re in crisis, please call 911, or text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line for immediate support.